Historic environment advice assistant

Occupation overview

This occupation is found in the Cultural Heritage, Historic Environment, Engineering, Construction, Design, Planning, Local Government, Education and Tourism sectors. The broad purpose of the occupation is to provide technical, research and logistical support to Historic Environment professionals working with heritage assets in the planning and development process, and on the legal and policy frameworks for their protection.

Examples of heritage assets include historic buildings, places, landscapes, townscapes, monuments, the historic marine environment, archaeological sites and deposits of heritage interest, registered parks, gardens and battlefields. Legislation or policy frameworks may be international, national or local, and include (but are not limited to) the Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979, National Planning Policy Framework, Protection of Wrecks Act 1973, Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2017, Ecclesiastical Exemption Order 2010. In their daily work, an employee in this occupation interacts with a range of clients, colleagues and stakeholders in the public, private and third sectors, within

organisations of any size. The Historic Environment Advice Assistant is typically office based but duties also include site visits, outdoor working and attendance at meetings with stakeholders, clients or colleagues. An employee in this occupation will be responsible for researching, investigating, analysing and reporting upon aspects of the historic environment in order to inform advice and recommendations on change, protection, maintenance, interpretation, conservation or restoration. Their work supports the evaluation of the significance of the historic environment, assessment of its condition, and its sensitivity to change. Where necessary, they are required to present arguments clearly and effectively based on their analysis. They also assist with the design and help monitor the implementation and compliance of programmes of work relating to heritage assets.

The Historic Environment Advice Assistant will typically be expected to work independently conducting research and preparing documentation and may be responsible for providing advice and recommendations to clients or the public without the supervision of senior colleagues, where appropriate to individual cases.

Skills

  • Work as part of a team and communicate effectively with colleagues, clients and stakeholders
  • Coordinate and administer casework and projects, manage projects for clients or organisations including using systems and processes specific to the historic environment sector.
  • Demonstrate time management skills, prioritise workload, work under pressure and be able to meet critical deadlines.
  • Write reports, specifications and briefs for projects that are complex and non-routine but well defined, e.g. Written Schemes of Investigation, Conservation Management Plans, listing and designation advice, desk-based assessments.
  • Interpret technical information and documents on the historic environment, e.g architectural plans, design and access statements, listed building consent orders.
  • Link, contextualise and apply legislation, policy, standards and guidance to projects, e.g. Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979, National Planning Policy Framework, Protection of Wrecks Act 1973, Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2017, Ecclesiastical Exemption Order 2010
  • Assess and describe the condition of the historic environment, e.g conducting evaluation visits, desk-based assessment, assessments of significance
  • Problem solve and evaluate proposals for change and gauge appropriateness of proposed actions
  • Apply relevant historic environment sector standards to check and review work
  • Identify, compile and process data on the historic environment
  • Review and maintain records on the historic environment in accordance with relevant standards
  • Exercise appropriate judgement and decision making, escalating to/involving others when dealing with complex queries or sensitive cases
  • Recognise the potential for work in the historic environment to deliver public benefit, identify opportunities for research and to deliver new knowledge for society
  • Be responsible for mapping and working to data standards, carrying out information reviews or technical investigation on the historic environment.
  • Work in a variety of outdoor and indoor site types safely, recognise and report risks in order to reduce the risk of incidents
  • Identify and use of range of methods and techniques to identify archaeological sites or building types, styles, technologies, materials and periods in practice.

Knowledge

  • How to respond to client or public requests and organisational requirements e.g. requests for advice from owners of Listing Buildings, or requests for record information about Listed Buildings from colleagues
  • Knowledge of stakeholder communication methods and strategies and how to maintain honest and constructive relationships.
  • The requirements for projects, including timescales, deadlines, cost implications, and identifying milestones/targets.
  • Heritage policies, frameworks, strategies, and best practice Standards for historic building conservation and archaeological work e.g. National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), Historic England: Conservation Principles, Policies and Guidance for the sustainable management of the Historic Environment, DCMS: Principles of selection for listing buildings
  • Where and how to find the relevant statutory legislation and other guidance concerning change in the historic environment, e.g. Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990, Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979, National Planning Policy Framework, Protection of Wrecks Act 1973, Town and Country Planning (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2017, Ecclesiastical Exemption Order 2010
  • The Historic Environment conservation principles (BS7913) and other published criteria for assessment and design.
  • The fundamentals of archaeological, landscape or architectural history and building practice and chronology, including a broad understanding and recognition of archaeological site or building types, styles, technologies, materials and periods.
  • The wider context of the historic environment, and the roles and responsibilities of statutory authorities, heritage organisations of all types and specialists, e.g. public, private and third sector organisations, subject specialist networks
  • Documentation used in the identification, management, design or recording of the Historic Environment, e.g. assessments of significance, Local Development Plans, listing and designation statements, desk-based assessments, Historic Environment Records.
  • Compliance processes for the historic environment, including heritage at risk and enforcement.
  • Their employer’s health and safety policy and procedures and operational procedures and how those relate to industry standards, and the fundamentals of relevant Health and Safety legislation and construction site Health & Safety. How to recognise and report risks.
  • Their role in the context of the project which they are working, what is required of them, and the implications of the project on the wider context of the historic environment. The limits of their own understanding, abilities and responsibilities, and how to practice within them. The ethical requirements of the relevant professional body.
  • Knowledge of learning and self-development opportunities within the sector and how to develop a personal action plan.
  • How to identify archaeological sites or building types, styles, technologies, materials and periods in practice.

Behaviours

  • Take reasonable care for the health and safety of themselves and of others who may be affected by their acts or omissions at work
  • focus and pay attention to detailB3: Ability to problem-solve and negotiate
  • Ability to problem-solve and negotiate
  • Commit to quality and their continuous professional development
  • Work effectively individually and as part of a team
  • Be approachable and able to communicate with all levels of their own and other organisations, as well as the general public, in workplace settings, as well as during site visits and stakeholder meetings.
  • Be sensitive to and aware of the significance of the historic environment, and the needs of its stakeholders, being conscious of integrity, honesty and professional ethical requirements

Entry Requirements

While any entry requirements will be a matter for individual employers, typically an apprentice might be expected to have already achieved five 9-4 (previously A* to C) GCSEs on entry.

English and Maths qualifications

Apprentices without level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this level prior to taking the End-Point Assessment.  For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement, the apprenticeship’s English and maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3. A British Sign Language (BSL) qualification is an alternative to the English qualification for those whose primary language is BSL.

Duration

Duration (months): 24

Professional Qualifications/Recognition

Chartered Institute for Archaeologists / Practitioner

Chartered Institute for Building / Registered

Institute of Historic Building Conservation / Affiliate

Originally published on Gov.uk, this information has been re-used under the terms of the Open Government Licence.

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